Hayase Kouichi is a high school boy who gets bullied a lot, and despite his childhood friend Risako trying to stand up for him, he does what the bullies tell him to. He doesn’t mind because he thinks that eventually the bullies will follow him since he represents justice. In fact, he believes that he has a dormant power within himself, and even when his other friend Yajima offers help, Kouichi claims that he’ll be okay by himself. The bullies want Kouichi to go buy some bread for them at a bakery far from school, and on his way back, he’s thrown off his bike after it hits a bump in the ground. At that moment though, a giant mecha falls out of the sky right on top of him. When Kouichi regains consciousness, he finds himself in some rubble with a naked girl laying beside him. What’s more, there’s now a giant mecha sitting in front of him. Figuring that the situation is dangerous, Kouichi gives the girl his shirt and carries her off. She wakes up a short while later and thanks him for saving her, but she claims that she doesn’t remember who she is. Since she needs some clothes, Kouichi takes her home so that she can borrow some of his sister’s.

While they are there, they notice an explosion in the distance. A group of ARMA mecha have appeared in the middle of the city and have started wreaking havoc, and the girl immediately realizes that these are her enemies. She rushes out of the house towards the commotion, and she watches as the ARMAs take out another group of mecha that had just arrived on the scene. Although Kouichi wants to run away, the girl feels that they have to do something, but before they take any action, they’re found by Yajima. He tries to lead them to the school, however one of the mecha fighting the ARMAs gets tossed in their direction, and it breaks a wall near them. Yajima protects Kouichi and the girl by holding up a piece of the collapsed wall, but this frustrates Kouichi because he’s always being taken care of by his friends. Kouichi ends up punching the wall, and to his surprise, he shatters it. At this very moment, the girl remembers that her name is Kizaki Emi, and she subsequently asks Kouichi if he’ll fight together with her. She places his hand on her breast and tells him to summon the LINEBARREL if he has the will to fight, and this causes a reaction that results in it suddenly appearing.

Full of confidence now, Kouichi takes Emi and leaps up into the LINEBARREL’s cockpit. He’s able to control it, and with some help from the LINEBARREL’s self-repairing abilities, he is able to easily handle two of the ARMAs. When he faces off against the third and final one, he declares that he’ll defeat it because it’s evil and he’s an ally of justice. The clash of the two titans results in the ARMA getting sliced up, and the shadowy man calling the shots orders the ARMA’s pilot to retreat. In the aftermath, Kouichi laughs with glee because he’s finally obtained power, and he truly believes that he’s on the side of justice. However, Emi then surprises him by revealing that he’s already dead.

ED Sequence

ED: 「雨が降る」 (Ame ga Furu) by 坂本真綾 (Sakamoto Maaya)
Watch the ED!: Mirror 1, Mirror 2, Streaming

I was all prepared to hear a ALI PROJECT song (as some of you might know, I dislike their music), but there was no OP this week, and I was instead treated to a very good Sakamoto Maaya ED. Such a good song feels almost wasted on a series like this.


I think this might be the first time I’ve ever hated a main character after just five minutes of the first episode. It’s bad enough that Kouichi starts out as a weak, angsty male lead, but then he changed into an arrogant, self-righteous lead, and the combination of those two makes him completely unbearable. To make matters worse, since Kouichi is voiced by Kakihara Tetsuya, I immediately had flashbacks of Kazuki from Dragonaut. I can’t help but think that Kouichi will end up as a joke of a character like Kazuki was (I already laughed out loud during the ridiculous scene when Kouichi summoned the LINEBARREL by touching Emi’s breast). Fortunately, at least Noto Mamiko was decent as Emi, and after Geass, it was interesting seeing Fukuyama Jun voice a villain.

Gonzo did a decent job with the production quality, and I didn’t have any big complaints there. The CG was okay; not nearly as good as Macross’s, but serviceable. I’m also not quite used to how Gonzo animates Hisashi Hirai‘s character designs – the way the faces were drawn was weird – but that may be because I haven’t watched anything that he’s worked on since SEED Destiny. In any case, I think there’s some potential in the series overall, but at least for this first episode, I had a hard time taking it seriously. The only interesting thing plotwise was the revelation at the end that Kouichi is already dead, but I fear that that’ll just lead to more angst on Kouichi’s part. I may watch another episode of this to see if it gets any better, but I’m not keeping my hopes up.

Oh yea, I almost forgot to mention. This series is going the same official subs on streaming video route that several recent Gonzo series have. You can find the crunchyroll stream here.


  1. How could Omni not like Ali Project. Theie music is great, but thats my opinion and I respect his. The animations was great it reminded of Gundam Seed a little. It was a an alright episode.

  2. I don’t really know what to think about this show, like omni already said the lead chara is so easy to hate. I hated Kazuki too, is Kakihara doom to voice this kinds of chara?… I rather watch Fafner all over again for some reason, but I’ll give Linebarrel six more episode before deciding whether to drop it or not…at least I think I heard Nakamura Yuuichi in there briefly, or I could be imagining things >.<!

  3. I felt the same way!! HATING THE MALE LEAD.

    You forgot he looks (brown hair and eyes), dresses (white uniform) and sounds(“I am justice!”) like a certain Lancelot pilot .. which is the basis for my HATE.

  4. lol I can’t believe I dislike him even more now. His manga version is more tolerable since they did the whole bullying thing when he was younger, not at this age. And he’s already all arrogant by the beginning, but I still didn’t the like his manga self since he was arrogant in a psychotic way. The first episode of the anime seems to greatly differ from the manga so far, but I’ll give it a few more episodes I guess.

  5. Nooo, not another Kazuki >_>. I spend all Boobnaut wanting him to die. Plus, the last time I saw Hirai’s chara design was in Heroic Age, which was extremly boring. AND it’s Gonzo. I think I’ll pass ^^.

  6. >>> imho ali projects music just sounds like garbled words into a unrhythmic rhythm.

    And dischordant melodies. Plus they ALL sound alike. Japan’s Linkin’ Park.

    If even Omni thinks this is full of Lulz, I’m sure to stay away from Gonzo’s latest.

  7. T-T Why Gonzo, Why? I’ve read the manga, and I have to agree that the main character is easily hateable. But thats where the depth comes in, where they show how he changes and becomes begrudgingly likeable. In the manga, he starts out arrogant, and develops his sense of justice as he becomes less of and a-hole. In this one, they take roughly 10 years and 1 full volume of character development, throw out the parts that make sense, and puts it all in 13 minutes of the first episode. Its like they shredded the first 3 volumes and picked out little bits of mis-matched plot from the pile so they could make this series. I’m well aware that lots of people think the original is always better than the anime version, but theres no excuse for such poor execution of a fairly interesting character. Theres a difference between an anime adaptation and a bastard child, but Gonzo never seems to realize that. /Rant Plus, the lamest ending line ever, “You’re Already Dead”

  8. >>> it’s too early to say that is a bad show
    lets wait for the first 10 episodes

    Seriously? It takes you 5 hours of material to make a qualitative decision on something? Bad show is bad.

  9. why gonzo why please ali proyect= linkin park is a Hell O No never, i respect those who like ali proyect but the comparison here are way of. and i have to said the manga plot is much better since he is suppose to be an antihero, an absolute bastard with a wierd sence of justice and be damn happy about it, with the irony that he actuly fights for the good guys >:/.

  10. For a first episode I thought it was fairly enjoyable. Kouichi is sort of weird as a male lead, Gonzo dishes out the fanservice like always with the boob-grab, and CG wasn’t horrid (at least not in this episode). With any luck this could turn out alright. Hoping it does since I haven’t watched Gundam 00 S1, and need my mecha fix for the season.

    But if it does go bad, oh well, it’s fun for me to see how stupid it can get.

  11. WAT Kakihara tetsuya is the seiyuu holy crap WILL WATCH O_O and here I wasn’t giving it even one thought… (I don’t know I love his voice, I’m probably becoming the kind of otaku I don’t care much to become but… but…!!)

  12. I never really liked Hisashi Hirai’s character designs.
    Also,the plot looks nothing but ordinary so I doubt I’ll pick this up.

    @Kadian1364: Project Ali=Linkin Park? That’s way off,buddy.

    As for ALI PROJECT,they really just use the same formula..

  13. I guess the challenge for us is to somehow try to like him… im sure in some eps some dude is gonna come and make him look good, or maybe even worse… well i dont know much about this series, so it will be fresh and more interesting to watch then soemthing i already know what is gonna happen.

  14. @ kts

    Blame the author of the manga and not solely on Gonzo. Anyway, that is what makes it interesting. Such an a-hole for a character but after time and experiences, he becomes a better person as a whole.

  15. People don’t keep watching the show when the lead character look so annoying and most characters look so dumb. And I am no exception here.
    Nobody even cared why the lead guy’s T-shirt and Jacket got so bloody. The guy himself neither. Weird. VERY weird reaction I should say.

  16. Oddly, I like that kazuki is a bastard. But I’m less than fond of how they changed things around from the source material.

    Combat wasn’t bad but I’m still at a Meh… stage.

    And a new female char added to Juda…. oh I wonder where this is leading.

  17. I don’t know what was changed from the manga, and don’t see a reason to find out, but so fair this is fairly traditional and derivative. Not bad, but not special either. Good to kill a little bit of boredom, at least until we see where this series is trying to go.

  18. Ohh yeah, i did not notice before they added a new female to juda, what the fudge gonzo what kind of cheap love square are you trying to pull of, if that the purpose of that new female, don’t we have enough with the childhood friend?? >:(.

  19. If Kouichi wasn’t already dead, I would want to kill him right now. He’s got to be the most annoying shounen mecha protagonist in existence. And that is saying a lot after the likes of Ikari Shinji, Kira Yamato and Shinn Asuka. In my mind Gonzo becomes more and more associated with fail.

  20. Oh wow they completly changed the way the story starts. He’s not suppose to know or meet the black haired chick until the later part of the manga. Nice going Gonzo. I’m not surprised but dissapointed, surely you would have learnt your lesson by now. Skip.

  21. Just like Attackariah said, in the manga, he does start out hateable, but develops pretty well in a few chapters (volumes). The problem with this first episode is that they changed a whole lot of stuff in order to make the pacing more acceptable for an anime series and the end result didn’t really work that well, since everything felt really rushed.

    Still, I didn’t quite hate it, and being a fan of the original material, will keep on watching it – there’s really nothing to lose here, either they manage to make a good adaptation or butch it to the end, and, in that case, I can always laugh my way till the last episode.

  22. I can’t like Hirai Hisashi’s designs for anything other than Gundam SEED, which is the first series I’ve seen his designs. After that, new characters always remind you too much of others.

    I’ll keep watch on this series for a bit since Taniguchi is creative producer…

  23. I’m 7 minutes in to this episode, and I just had to pause it, come over here, and say this without even read what Omni has to say about the episode…

    I can’t stand the lead male character!!!!!!!!!! ARGGGHHHH!!!!!! There’s something about his combined personalities that I can’t stand: weak + arrogant + thinks that he’s a super hero + etc….

    Definitely a unique character. Unfortunately, I hate his uniqueness.

    Now back to watching it

  24. ok, I’m back from the episode. And what I thought was a horrible character in the first 7 minutes, I now think is a complete jerk. I guess that’s what happens when someone with a weak personality suddenly gain a lot of power. From what I’ve seen, everything tells me that he’s someone who’ll end up misusing his powers, ends up doing something he did not intent, and later, try to repent by becoming a better person.

    In a nutshell, I think the male lead (couldn’t even be bothered to remember his name) is:
    * arrogant
    * a coward
    * living in denial
    * someone who will abuse power
    * reminding me a LOT of Raki from Claymore, but with a worse attitude
    * … well, you can’t possibly expect me to list every bad human trait, can you? It’s going to be bad for both my keyboard and my fingers.

  25. Show Spoiler ▼

  26. Man, so much early hate for one episode, there’s a reason for the change in the main characters personality, I’d hope those who read the manga at least understand this part. Gonzo changed the start of this so much that people who don’t read the manga get lost already.

    I for one like the main, as with any shounen it’s a development process for the main character.

    It’s kinda funny how some of you hate mains who are weak, so then when they stop being weak and are a bit arrogant you hate them again? Hold on, are any of you geass lulu fans? The mother of all arrogant characters in any mecha show to date, yet everyone just loved him. I don’t get how people think some times.

    Anyways, yes he is a jerk, but as I’ve said, the change in his emotions and personality are explained later, so just chill a bit.

  27. I don’t like Emi’s seiyuu (sorry mami-chan) I think Eri Kitamura(using Saya’s voice in Blood+) is better fit for the role though also Jun Fukuyama would fit Moritsugu’s role too. Well, because I’m kinda basing it on the manga’s perspective view.

    Spoilers: Koichi’s friend will possibly die on the second ep. Bwahahahahahaha

    Verbatim EX
  28. Saw it and honestly not a big fan. And I normally love all the stuff Gonzo does despite their tendency to have really slow, dragged out episode arcs.

    This whole show seems A WALKING FREAKING cliche. Weak guy who wants powers, mysterious girl comes and gives him said power, and boy SUDDENLY KNOWING HOW TO FIGHT ZOMG, and WHO SEEKS JUSTICE (and no I don’t think he’s like Suzaku from Geass, because despite how annoying his beliefs were I respected them for it because of his reasons/past). I’ve seen it in like…10 or 20 different and they were at least creative about it. So unless they come up with something creative real soon, I”m gonna get bored, scratch that I”m already bored.

    It left a bad taste in my mouth for certain, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Fukuyama Jun is the villain (when he first spoke I literally lol’d) and the ending, I might just skip this show entirely.

  29. @ragnaork

    You do realise it’s not possible to show all that in a 20minute episodes? If they did follow the manga exactly would take at least 2-3 episodes before all that can happen.

  30. If Hiyashi Hirai had anything to do with the mecha designs, it would be that he figured out how to adapt them from the manga, which was written and illustrated by Eiichi Shimizu and Tomohiro Shimoguchi (one of whom did Zone of Enders, IIRC. The similarities are obvious.)

    The problem with the anime is that it really compressed things. In the manga, the main starts out being bullied as a child, and then ends up being killed by Linebarrel in an accident. 10 years later, you find out that he’s become something of a hoodlum/hero of justice, in that he’s inexplicably stronger, faster, and smarter than he has any right to be, and he gets into a lot of fights with his childhood bullies as his friends.

    It took a lot longer to setup, but it was definitely more interesting.

  31. I was TERRIBLY disappointed in the opening episode, I’ve been really spoiled by great shows like Gundam 00/Macross Frontier/Code Geass and as a big production I thought this would at least be 50% of that. So far it’s like not even close, and I agree that the main male character is horrendous (He doesn’t earn ANY sympathy from any guy with his attitude) and I can’t see any girls liking him either. Gonna read your reviews to see if this show is worth watching but right now I think this show is going straight to the trash. Visuals only takes me so far, I need a good story to go with it.


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